3 - 26 September 2020
Both formally and theoretically, Tian Wei’s work constructs a bridge between things that appear as complementary pairs or polar opposites. Using the Chinese idea of contraries held in balance (yin and yang), words and quotations in minute script fill the backdrop of Tian’s paintings, forming a patterned ground over which larger semi-abstract shapes are drawn. On trying to read these foregrounded lines as Chinese characters, however, anyone familiar with Chinese ideographic script is quickly frustrated, since the unfamiliar writing can only be resolved in English. In fact, the cursive lines spell out simple English words, such as ‘soul,’ 'sexy’ and ‘red.’ These selected English nouns and adjectives free-handedly drawn in cursive Chinese style give the viewer insight into the artist’s lived experience of an emerging synergy between eastern and western sensibilities, both of which he masters with easy assurance.